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New rules seek safe and compliant products on the EU market

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by Keith Zahra

The EU Market Surveillance and Compliance Regulation came into force in July 2021. The new rules aim to ensure that products placed on the EU market comply with relevant EU legislation and meet public health and safety requirements. 

The legislation is key to ensuring a well-functioning Single Market and helps to put into place a better structure for checks on products exchanged on the EU market by improving cooperation among national authorities and customs officers. 

The Regulation, proposed by the Commission in June 2019, will now apply to a wide array of products covered by 73 pieces of EU legislation, from toys, electronics to cars. To boost businesses’ compliance with these rules, the Regulation will help to provide free of charge information on product rules to businesses via the Your Europe portal and Product contact points. The new rules will also better specify the powers of Market Surveillance authorities, giving them powers to perform on-site inspections and undertake undercover purchasing of products. 

The modernised framework for market surveillance will also help address the rising challenges of e-commerce and new supply chains, by ensuring that certain categories of products can only be placed on the EU market if an economic operator is present in the EU as interlocutor for authorities. To help businesses adjust to these requirements, the Commission has already issued dedicated Guidelines in March 2021. 

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